This is our first game and we are in the process of finding our feet. We are through with Mali and looking forward to Ghana. Our focus is to defend our trophy and we have just started.
Desire Oparanozie is fine. She is one of 21 players we have here. The best players for today (against Mali) were those who played.
Asisat Oshoala is a special player and can adjust to any position. She did that today and everyone saw the result.
Asisat Oshoala (Forward, Nigeria)
This is just the first match and our approach was not to concede in the first 20 minutes. When we went to the dressing room, we came back stronger in the second half and did better. Basically it is not about Asisat Oshoala, rather the whole Nigerian team. I did not come with a target in mind to win the Most Valuable Player or the top scorer, rather to make my country (Nigeria) proud. And also to show the rest of Africa that we are still around and this is the only way to make that statement.
Oumar Guindo (Head Coach, Nigeria)
To play a team like Nigeria in the first match at a tournament of this nature is always going to be difficult. We met a strong team and it was not easy for us. We are a young team and my players have yet to adapt. For six years, Mali failed to qualify for the final tournament of the Women’s AFCON until this year. Also, our preparation was not the best as we played only one friendly match against Cameroon. After that, we did not test our readiness against any tough opposition. There are still two matches to play. Our objective remains going past the group stage and we will work towards achieving that. We are a young team and are hoping that in the near future we will be at the level of a team from Nigeria.